1 medium-sized smoked snapper, just under 1kg in weight
1 litre water or chicken or fish stock
4 medium shallots (or 8-10 tiny ones)
4-8 dried Thai chillies
3 stalks lemongrass
12 cherry tomatoes
6-8 lime leaves
3-4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce, or more to taste
1 teaspoon palm sugar
1 small handful of sawtooth herb or coriander, to garnish

This soup may be lesser known than tom yum but it’s no less delicious. It’s another dish I love making while I’m in New Zealand because of all the fabulous smoked fish we have here. I use a whole smoked fish because I like using the heads and bones in the broth, but you can easily just use smoked fish fillets, it will still be good.


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1.If you use a whole smoked fish, start by separating the fish meat from the bones and skin.
2.Set aside the meat, break the bones and skin into smaller pieces and add them to the pot of water or stock.
3.Bring to a boil and simmer for up to one hour. Strain the stock, discarding the fish bits.
4.If you’re using fish fillet, you can skip that whole step and begin right here.
5.Turn the barbecue on high. Put the shallots onto a bamboo skewer and do the same with the dried chillies (I suggest using the skewers so they are easier to handle on the grill).
6.The lemongrass you can leave whole for the moment.
7.Grill the shallots and lemongrass stalks until the outsides are charred but not quite cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
8.Grill the chillies for about 10-20 seconds, just until they take on some colour but are not burnt.
9.Once they’re done, set aside for a few minutes to cool down.
10.Peel the outer, burnt layer from the shallots and the lemongrass.
11.Cut the shallots in half (no need to do it if you use the tiny ones).
12.Cut the lemongrass into 5cm pieces and crush them lightly with the flat of your knife.
13.Bring the pot of stock to a boil, add the fish, cherry tomatoes, lemongrass stalks, shallots, lime leaves and dried chillies, and simmer for 15 minutes.
14.Add the tamarind concentrate (because some brands of tamarind concentrate can be stronger than others, start with just 2 tablespoons and add more if you need to), fish sauce and palm sugar.
15.The soup should be pleasantly sour, but not brashly so.
16.Discard most of the lemongrass (it is only used for the aroma and is not supposed to be eaten), keeping a few pieces to float in the soup bowls as garnish.
17.Divide the soup between four bowls and garnish with torn coriander or sawtooth herb.

Recipes & food styling Pim Techamuanvivit / Portrait & recipe photography Tony Nyberg / Restaurant photography Adahlia Cole, Anson Smart